IF given a chance to lead the country, independent presidential candidate Senator Grace Poe vowed to put an end to “sluggish” rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts of the government on disaster-stricken areas of the country.
Poe, who visited Tacloban City in Leyte province last week, said she will establish a government that is sensitive to the needs of that people regardless of their political inclination or color especially during the times of disasters.
In her speech during the Partido Galing at Puso (PGP) campaign rally in downtown Tacloban, the Senator said that if ever she wins the presidency in May, among her first orders will be the immediate completion of all pending housing projects in the province particularly the reconstruction of housing units for Typhoon Yolanda victims.
She will also order the immediate relocation of residents living along identified danger zones to safer grounds even if the government has to buy that land.
Poe, who topped the 2013 senatorial race with 344,016 votes from Leyte, stressed that politics should never play a role in preventing and addressing the impacts of a calamity.
“We should learn and not allow politics to prevail. That is why we are wearing white because regardless if you are yellow, red or blue we will also be together especially in time of disasters),” Poe said.
Super Typhoon Yolanda, which made landfall in the Philippines on Nov. 8, 2013, killed 6,300 people and displaced more than 1.4 million families, many of them in Eastern Visayas.
The rehabilitation and reconstruction work of the government remains despite the huge foreign and local aid received by the government partly because of politics.
No less than administration presidential candidate Manuel Roxas 2nd highlighted this during a meeting with Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez two days after Yolanda devastated the province of Leyte wherein Roxas told the mayor: “You have to understand you are a Romualdez and the President is an Aquino.”
As of December 31, 2015, the government has only managed to complete 30 percent of the rehabilitation and reconstruction projects in Yolanda-hit communities nationwide, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) reported. Another 33 percent will be finished this year, as per government target.